Cora Cash is an American Emma Woodhouse of the fin de siècle. Clever, spirited and rich, she is used to having her way and, despite her experience as a celebrity heiress, in matters of the human heart she is utterly naïve. When her husband-to-be, the Duke of Wareham, chivalrously saves her after a fall from her horse in Paradise Wood, the fairy tale seems complete.
Not only will Cora become a duchess on her marriage, but her main residence will be the romantic Lulworth Castle. Soon after their exchange of wedding vows, however, Cora realizes that her marriage may have been a mistake…
My Last Duchess is as much about the clash of transatlantic cultures as it is about fluctuating happiness in a spontaneous love-match. As Cora makes faux pas after faux pas in her new role as Duchess, a clandestine relationship surfaces that makes Cora question whether the Duke has married her for love or for her money.
Goodwin’s first novel is disappointing. Her long-standing career as a journalist for The Times raised my expectations, but there’s nothing challenging about the characters or the language. This said, it’s a relaxing read, and immaculately researched. VP